∞ RIM CEO has another interview meltdown

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis wasn’t impressed with the way an interview was going with the BBC and terminated the interview.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]As soon as the interviewer started asking Lazaridis about security issues with the governments in India and countries in the Middle East, the interview started to fall apart.

“That’s just not fair,” said Lazaridis. “First of all, we have no security problems.”

Lazaridis went on to explain why he feels people are focused on RIM.

“We’ve just been singled out because we’re so successful around the world,” said Lazaridis. “It’s an iconic product used by business, it’s used by leaders, it’s used by celebrities, it;s used by consumers, it’s used by teenagers. We’re just singled out, just because of our success.”

Not willing to let the question go unanswered, the interviewer narrows the question down again, hoping to get a response from Lazaridis.

“It’s over. The interview is over,” said Lazaridis. “Please, you can’t use that word, it’s just not fair.”

You can watch the video on the BBC Web site.

Earlier this week Lazaridis had another little breakdown while doing an interview with the New York Times.

“Why is it that people don’t appreciate our profits? Why is it that people don’t appreciate our growth? Why is it that people don’t appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don’t appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages?,” Lazaridis said in the interview.



  • Alex Sebenski

    Kersplosion. RIM goes down in flames.

  • Seriously, how do the leaders of this company view its future? They have two CEO’s, and seemingly no grasp on what consumers are interested in when it comes to phones. iPhones and Android devices have taken a noticeable chunk out of RIM’s enterprise marketshare even. What the hell are they doing?

    • silencets

      Complaining. Loudly.

    • kibbles

      no doubt.

      but if i may be the typo police — the plural of CEO is CEOs, not CEO’s. it’s not possessive. same w/ the ’80s, not the 80’s. this is probably the most common typo on these threads.

  • Dave Humber

    Notice any resemblance to Rodney Dangerfield. “I can’t get no respect here…”. Certainly if this continues he won’t get respect from his shareholders.

  • This guy is like a self-opening piñata of crazy.

    • I’m going to copy that sentence and use it repeatedly, if you don’t mind.

      • Go ahead, it’s open 🙂

        • Sweet. There’s tons of people that fit that description. You should trademark that statement, it’s awesome.

    • That should be the caption that runs under this man’s image everywhere it appears.

      RIM’s self-opening piñata of crazy, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, spoke today at a gathering of very puzzled senior citizens in Schenectady, NY about their forthcoming poetry recital.

      • I hope I’m never going to read this line while drinking: Nose » fluid » fountain.

  • jonathanferrier

    why does the loop release so many bully feeds that make apple look good? i love apple products but I’m not going to bully rim. let em be j.d.. why don’t you write on national affairs and why iphone is a better solution for gov officials? i love your feeds on apple stuff j.d. but can we lower the bullying, brown nosing, and up the original content please? peace.

    • If Apple execs were doing this, I’d be all over them for being stupid.

      • jonathanferrier

        i bet! but, i won’t hold my breath for that interview.

        • Ian

          See, thanks to Apple execs you won’t die of oxygen deprivation.

        • Let us know when any Apple officer ever makes this kind of public embarrassment of themselves. We’ll rip him a new one.

      • Anonymous

        The article didn’t even mention Apple.

    • I think RIM pissed Jim D off and that may be the reason. But RIM has become the favorite whipping boy of the tech press in recent months.

      • jonathanferrier

        i hear ya b, but when i win gold medals i don’t kick the bronze medal winner. i understand business is tough, but man, i love competition. i embrace the competition pushing the others to do better. if it were my blog, and i’m picking sides, i’d focus on what rim has that apple doesn’t, and what apple should strive to achieve. if there’s nothing left to achieve, why are we whipping rim?

        • It’s got nothing to do with who is first, second or third. It’s RIM’s attitude and the way they carry on in the press. That’s all.

        • kibbles

          it is quite newsworthy that a CEO from a major, major tech firm (in the same sector as apple, this site’s subject) could be so ignorant and behave so foolishly. its quite newsworthy…

        • Anonymous

          Quit preaching and let Jim have his say. This is his space and you’re a guest, so mind your manners.

          Perhaps you’d like to include a link to YOUR news site.

          I think it’s interesting to note how UNprepared this guy was for that interview. Public Relations is always an important aspect of any business, and he should have been prepared with an acceptable (factual) response to the reporter’s question. Instead, he came across like an awkward teenager in a school play with stage fright who forgot his lines.

          His non-answer of the question was quite telling, as it seems that he was lying about there not being a security situation.

        • Lazaridis and Balsillie set themselves up for ridicule, over and over again. Their inability to answer direct questions demonstrates how little they now understand the market that Apple disrupted in 2007.

          • Anonymous

            (( Moeskido [Moderator] 6 hours ago in reply to jonathanferrier )) STOP with the damn cliche “disrupted”… Jesus Christ. In 1997-98, it was called “disintermediation”… Jesus, then 2-3 years ago we got “disrupted”. FUCK disrupted and that stupid ass word. Apple is in fact a fantastic innovator and what they actually did was blow out of the water Windows Mobile’s pathetic implementation of a touchscreen phone interface and user experience — from stylus-based, 6-pt type targets to finger-based tap, swipe and pinch. THAT’s what they did first and foremost. They weren’t going after a hardkey phone. They were going after a touchscreen phone/device experience that was poorly thought out from day 1 — and never took advantage of the obvious inherent usability features of a device with a touchscreen held in your hands. Just STFU with that cliche word “DISRUPT” . God I want to vomit when Arrington and all you sycophants use it like religion. Expand your vocabulary.

          • Thank you for the angry lecture. Thank you for correcting my reprehensible choice of verb, despite the fact that I rarely read TechCrunch (I prefer Asymco, actually), and despite the fact that we’re mostly in agreement to begin with.

            No matter which word you prefer, before 2007, smartphones looked like a Blackberry. After 2007, they looked like an iPhone.

          • Anonymous

            ooops, sorry. I just hate that word. … It obviously drives me insane. … Ordinarily i’m pretty nice. … That word sets me off., i guess like incentivize does. But i’m swimming against the tide. i should just throw in the towel and join the party. Look, i just disrupted the thread!

          • I “bifurcated” because my point of view is primarily that of an interested consumer, which tends to simplify this conversation, at least for my purposes. I always try to hear what developers are saying, but historically, devs haven’t been a fully reliable source of opinion on mobile tech for me, given their characteristic focus upon programming and specs.

            But functionality means very little without good usability. Without the latter, your device could be as amazingly functional as a Star Trek tricorder, and I wouldn’t want to buy it. You could wax poetic about how great Windows Mobile was until the cows come home, but as great as it might have been to work with, it never got my consumer business, for this reason.

            Without Apple, RIM would have gone a very much longer time without a challenger for their particular business-focused segment, IMO. Microsoft’s management — specifically, the Windows managers — saw to that.

          • Anonymous

            thanks for reply. I was certainly McCranky this morning ….. And I agree with what you say. … (You prob have envisioned the wrong impression: I’m a UI, usability designer, and filmmaker — not even a pretend engineer or dev. Prob sounded like I was. I also have used Apple desktop and laptop products since 1986… But I’m also an early adopter. And when I was looking for a phone in 2003, there WAS NO product offering at all from Apple. The only thing that ever came close was the Newton and you know how long ago that was right.

            So, as a consumer, looking for a consumer experience in 2003 which most consumers weren’t even thinking of then — or the apple product design market would have already supplied that solution, what was available from my carrier, T-Mobile, was a WM touchscreen… It’s easy to completely dis it, because I have helped to do so, in my fairness to elevate how well Apple completely did a ground up re-think. But that’s not accurate. It was not a piece of shit. And the reason more people weren’t using them then is economics — you can do the homework and research it with the carriers like T-Mobile who lead the push for touchscreen devices using primarily HTC touchscreens they co-branded.

            QUite simply, they were way more than a consumer wanted then. Back then, people were way cool with the slimness of the Motorola RAZR, so it is a completely off-axis comparison. … Apple WAKES UP a marketplace through brilliant product design, and also the hand-in-hand brilliant consumer marketing that goes with it.

            This is not a splitting hairs argument. not even an argument. Apple is king in this realm and Jobs was brilliant at reinventing his company starting with the ipod, focusing on “digital lifestyle”, building a new generational attraction to new products, and now its come ful circle — absolutely brillaintly — with Mac App store — to ultimatelty further rejuvenate, seed, expand and an already expanding market penetration of apple computing products.

            I guess I will stop. All I have been trying to say is: I think it is too dismissive to retroactively write off the whole userbase of windows mobile from 2003-2006 — they wer EARLY ADOPTERS who helped prove as market was there, who would pay $500 for a device, etc… and more than that, the phones were actually phenomenal. And the ones in Europe far outclassed the ones ever seen in the USA, due to the stupid carrier choices made by USA carriers who choice dumbed down models. When I went to Central Europe, Serbia of all places, their phones even were twice as good as mine.

            I just think that the argument that “until a product hits my radar screen of acceptance, it obviously wasn’t good enough to even be considered worthy of serious inclusion” is faulty. And I think you should admit you actually don’t even know the whole culture and specfic oferings of those phones and their usages and what people did with them and how they aded value to work and life in 2003-2006 pre-iphone. You don’t need to, but it would be amore honest presentation of the evolution of where we are today. To use a current cultural reference from Google, your argument sounds like “What yuri gagarin did may have been all well and good, but until Nasa came along, all other efforts were a joke. NASA landed the man on the moon. The others never quite got my attention.”

            That’s how I read your comments. So, why not just admit: “As a consumer, I was not even focused on touchscreen phones from anyone at al in 2003, 2004, 2005” — and check your own cell phone contract and see which phone you DID carry. It would tell a lot about what captured your imagination.

          • Again, speaking as a consumer, what passed for sophisticated phones before 2007 did not appeal to me enough to spend the necessary money. I did not dismiss those efforts as having no place in the pool of known technology that drove competition and development. All I intended to point out here was that, as a consumer, I had certain reactions to most of the offerings that constituted the state of the art for their time, which I considered clumsy, counter-intuitive, and even inconsiderate of human nature. I like to think that I was part of a fairly large demographic in that respect, regardless of the historical worth of any one company’s offerings in that market.

            “Why not just admit”? Please. Please stop taking my personal opinions as affronts to your ideology. I’m not that important.

            I was curious about smartphones from the moment I realized they existed, regardless of whether my career or income could justify the outlay for one. I like to think I asked friends and acquaintances about them to a degree that suggested I might be writing about them professionally. I still do. My curiosity is drawn to technology that might eventually become affordable to the more casual user I see myself as. I never gave a shite about Windows Mobile because it was always Windows-ey enough to remind me of why I buy Apple gear. Microsoft products bore the stamp of the arrogant culture that created them. That worked well for Microsoft in 1996, but times changed and standards improved.

            I use a cheap, pay-as-you-go mobile phone, because cheap is all I can afford and all my calling needs require (I hate talking on landlines, mobiles even more so). Before that, I had a cheap monthly plan with Sprint before I realized I wasn’t making full use of it. My most complex handset-sized device is a three-year-old iPod touch. That doesn’t keep me from maintaining an interest in the newer, more robust technology that drives the market. But if you feel it disqualifies me from having opinions, you can dismiss me as a low-tech, irrelevant Luddite. Please feel free to do so.

        • How often does the bronze medal winner step up to the pedestal and then wet his pants on-camera?

  • Eric Johnston

    “Please, you can’t use that word, it’s just not fair.”

    You’re in for a world of disappointment sir.

  • The one thing that RIM had going for it was that it was secure. Now that RIM has given the keys to the secure email that its customers enjoyed to the oppressive governments who demanded it. Why should anyone in the middle east use RIM products?

    • Anonymous

      They didn’t do that. Get your facts straight. They don’t have the keys to the BES servers, only the BES Admins have them. The issue is that India wants to try to take the lazy way out and have RIM give them the keys. India doesn’t want to do the leg work to go to each individual BES admin and demand the info that they’re seeking.

      • I had been told that the keys were handed over and after your comment I see that was incorrect. Traffic monitoring. Yes, Keys to encrypted emails. No.

        But with the pressure RIM is under in the middle east. I wonder if they can keep the keys from the governments. If they did hand the keys over would it be reported. It would be in the best interest of both RIM and the governments that it not be reported.

      • His Shadow

        I think that’s what pissed off Lazaridus. If the Blackberry has security issues, why do totalitarian regimes the world over have such a problem with BB encryption?

        Because it’s the best.

        Look, I’m a MacMac’s MacMac, but RIM made it’s bones on providing enterprise class service and encryption that no one else can match. They aren’t some mooks like Nokia selling crap and trying to make it up on volume. RIM earned their market fair and square, just like Apple.

        Sure, maybe their touchscreen phone needs some work, and the Playbook will only appeal to enterprise and not rack up the numbers of the iPad. And, yes, these CEOs may need handlers. But as I’ve said before, don’t be too hasty or so dismissive. Record profits and record sales should count for something. Does anyone here really need to be reminded how long it took for Apple’s renewed strength, sales and profits to sink on to the zeitgeist of the analysts?

  • Coward_the_Anonymous

    And why it is not fair to ask tough questions, questions so important to customers?

  • Anonymous

    I think this is just the culmination of weeks and months of the same re-hash. Even Obama and other world leaders have shown their humanity when poked in the eye a million times over.

  • Phil

    Which RIM CEO was this?

    • Player_16

      The other one.

  • Anonymous

    The man can’t seem to survive outside of his echo chamber. Pathetic.

  • Vamsmack

    You know what I hate? The fact he pulled the National Security Issue card. Sorry I didn’t realise under the guise of national security a country could just read all it’s citizens private emails.

    • Fasfsafas

      totally you are soooo rightt,……..

  • While there aren’t that many RIM trolls in this thread, I made a little something to express the desire for a credible competitor to the iPad, that so many Apple customers have. I want the PlayBook to fulfil all the promises RIMs management has been making. I want the next Samsung tablet to be successful and I’d love to see a great tablet from HP running webOS:

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I actually feel sorry for the guy, they don’t have security issues, they have political problems. They would have completely lost those markets had they not caved in, it’s a crappy position to be in.

    But, I really can’t see myself ever owning a BB product…

  • I’m not sure if he’s egotistical, crazy, or a carefully measured blend of both. Unfortunately these meltdowns and train wreck interviews are gaining more focus and press than the actual products. Someone here nailed it when they said these guys need handlers.

    • Rich Prince

      You have to wonder about these guys view themselves and the mission of their companies. If you values are totally wrapped up in watching your stock rise and fall or marketshare gain or lose you are going to, as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, loose all perspective and get pretty f’ed up as a leader of a company. Every company, any company, despite bland generalities to the contrary, must have a set of principles and values to which they aspire other than reading daily fluctuations in market indexes or speculations in market values that come from the outside. These values cane be as broad as to “innovate” or to “make insanely great products” or they can be as specific as “open 12 more retail stores in the N.E.” or to reduce inventory costs by shortening the delivery cycle from 21 days to 14 days. Schultz said there can be many distractions that lead you away from core values. But, in reality, if you know the values and have clear purpose and focus you don’t need handlers or to play politics with you image or mentally break down during interviews.

      • I think the problem with these two CEOs is that the values they’ve built the the company upon no longer take into account how the market is shifting out from underneath them and spreading beyond their beliefs about what matters and what doesn’t.

        I really hope they don’t wind up making the world’s best buggy whip, but they sure are sounding in public as though they think this “automobile” thing is just a fad.

  • So another one gone wasted here!!..

  • Min

    Don’t blame CEO, they want RIM win.   RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.   In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.   It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.   This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.   So don’t blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs’ expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.

    • Why do you post the same comment on so many posts covering RIM? It’s just copying and pasting the same thing over and over again. We get it.